Castlewellan To Host Ulster Fleadh In July

Musicians, business people and supporters of the Ulster Fleadh met at The Lodge in Castlewellan last Friday evening to announce that the Fleadh this year will be held in Castlewellan.

This event will provide a huge cultural boost for County Down and from 23-29 July accomodation, restaurtants and shops will all benefit from the 25,000 visitors to the local area.

Graine Scullion, Chairperson of the County Down Fleadh committee, speaking at the meeting said: “The annual Ulster Fleadh (Fleadh Uladh) is a yearly festival run by the Comhaltas, the traditional music organisation in Ireland. This is the largest traditional music festival in the Ulster region and is held in different towns and cities each year. This year we are delighted that Castlewellan will have the honours of hosting it.

Newcastle Comhaltas musicians Ryan Savage, Barry Rogan, Saoirse Barbour, Aoife Leckey and Luke Savage playing a jig before the meeting in Castlewellan.

“Traditional Irish musicians and dancers will have a platform to showcase their great talents around the halls, streets and pubs in the town. It will be a fantastic week and will good weather we can expect huge crowds.

“Irish language too is also celebrated along with singing, theatre and storytelling involving members from all areas of the community.

“Castlewellan has an excellent history of hosting the Fleadh Ulad and has done so in 1997, 1998, 2008, 2009,and 2010. With the support of the Comhaltas organisation, these events are renowned for generating large crowds and are supported by the generosity of the business sector and the wider community.

“Castlewellan is an attractive setting for this year’s Fleadh and it certainly provides a very welcome boost to local businesses.”

Roisin Howell, Newcastle CCÉ Chairperson, with Newry Mourne and Down District Councillors John Rice and Mark Murnin, and Newcastle CCÉ musicians Saoirse Barbour and Ryan Savage at The Lodge in Castlewellan.

Slieve Croob SDLP Councillor Mark Murnin said: “It is great to see already a large team of volunteers and businesses coming together to support the organisation of the Ulster Fleadh. This will definitely be a great cultural boom for County Down and a major economic event for Castlewellan town as business will boom for the week of the Fleadh. And the many volunteers too that take part also will help to make this event a success.”

And recently adopted Sinn Féin Councillor John Rice added: “The Ulster Fleadh is a tremendous event to host and I am delighted that it is being held in Castlewellan this year. There is a dedicated local team in the Newcastle Comhaltas and many supporters through the Gaelic clubs and beyond across the County. I’m sure local business will get behind this event and help make it a memorable week for all.”

Grainne Scullion added that the Fleadh Ulad will benefit the Castlewellan area in a number of ways. The Fleadh will:

* generate £2.25 million for the local economy.

* run over nine days with 20+ events.

* be supported by a team of over 200 volunteers dedicated to making the Fleadh run smoothly.

* attract around 25,000 visitors to the area.

* will generate 600 bed nights over the competition weekend.

* will create an average food and drink spend per attendee of £70 with an additional 70% spending an extra £20 on gifts and crafts with 21.4% spending betweem £21 – £49.”

Grainne Scullion added that local business and sponsors can get involved in three main ways:

* main corporate sponsorship ….  £1000.

* business advertiser………………..  £500

* Advertiser…………………………….. £100.

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or PHONE the Newcastle CCÉ (HOST BRANCH 07743487034.